TWO leading figures from Scotland’s whisky industry have joined the Ardgowan Distillery Company, based in Inverkip.

Their appointments come as chief executive Martin McAdam revealed he plans to raise £12 million from private investors to realise his ambition of creating a new lowland single malt whisky.

Former Bruichladdich and Springbank director Gordon Wright has joined as an adviser on commercial development and sales; and global distilling expert Michael Egan will review the distillery’s process engineering design.

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This follows the recent appointment of former Macallan managing director Willie Phillips as chairman.

“These new signings give us tremendous strength in two key areas,” said Mr McAdam. “Michael brings cutting-edge expertise in distillery process design, while Gordon has a stellar track record in building export sales for niche whisky brands. Together they can help us make and market an outstanding and exclusive new lowland single malt whisky.”

The Ardgowan Distillery Company was incorporated in June last year by Mr McAdam. Plans for a distillery and visitor centre were lodged in October, with Inverclyde Council expected to make a decision in the coming weeks.

If approved, the distillery is scheduled to be operational in 2019.

The original Ardgowan Distillery was founded in Greenock in 1896 before being destroyed in the 1941 Blitz.

While at Springbank Distillery in Campbeltown, Mr Wright helped take the family-owned malt whisky global, creating export sales of £1.4m in four years.

A former marketing director at Bruichladdich Distillery, he helped raise the equity to purchase the company from JBB in 2000.

Mr Egan began his career in Canada with the Hiram Walker Group – famous for Canadian Club Whisky – and cut his teeth working at distilleries in Illinois and Ontario. He was later director of brewery redevel- opment at Guinness in Dublin.

Mr McAdam was general manager for renewable energy company Airtricity’s North American operations – which was subsequently sold to SSE.

He was a founder shareholder in Kingsbarns Distillery, Fife, and was also chief executive of wave energy company Aquamarine Power until 2014 and is a non- executive director of FTSE 250 company Greencoat UK Wind.